Perspective by Florence Buchanan
“The Monroe County Link Action Team Kickoff Meeting took place on January 12, 2018, which included Team Captains and their selected Team members. This meeting could not have been more successful!
There are 6 Pillars that look at specific actions that are led by captains and their teams. Aaron Domini led the MCL Action Team in a workshop where groups outlined goals and the hurdles to achieving those goals. There was so much engagement and energy on each team that was, and still is, remarkable to watch.” … Source: https://monroecountybdc.org/monroe-county-link/
When I joined the Link Plan in February 2019 as Project Manager, I was excited about the opportunity to work with local stakeholders on economic development initiatives. The six Pillar teams had already been meeting and team leadership was in place. I began working with the teams on organizational processes, resources and identifying new opportunities to achieve the overall Link Plan goals.
Each year, annual goals were established focusing on each Pillar’s mission. The volunteer members engaged in meaningful communication, collaboration and exchange of ideas that led to successfully achieving the goals.
Over the last five years, more than 60 volunteers have contributed well over 2,200 hours to make the Link Plan a success. Some of the significant accomplishments include: (1) “Michigan’s Cornerstone” county-wide brand, (2) Launch 734 business development ecosystem bringing a renewed focus on entrepreneurship, (3) identifying the need for career technical education for high school students and training opportunities for adult learners, (4) the largest single industrial investment in 15 years occurred in the county, and (5) the focus on quality of life amenities such as non-motorized trails/pathways and I-75 interchange beautification.
All great things never end! The Monroe County Link Plan is now entering a new phase of economic development and community engagement; MC Link Plan 2.0.
What does the future hold? We can imagine the future and now have a blueprint for success. We know it is time for a refresh. We know additional resources, ideas and talent are needed. Developing creative strategies to attract a diverse and “next generation” of volunteers to new Link Plan will help to secure the future growth of the county’s economic development.
My assignment with the Link Plan is ending soon. It has been an absolute pleasure working with all the volunteers. I am incredibly grateful for having the opportunity to learn so much about local government, economic development and to enhance my relationships with local stakeholders. Thank you Tim Lake, LuAnn Hogberg and Matt Vanisacker, for this opportunity. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And thank you to all the Link Plan volunteers! We have all worked extremely hard and had some fun along the way.